Bismah Maroof hit 99 runs to lead the Pakistan women to a comprehensive, 57-run victory in the first One-Day International against the Women Proteas in Sharjah on Friday. Maroof was supported by Javeria Khan (49) and Asmavia Iqbal (35*) to get their side to 216/6 after electing to bat first. She denied herself a well-earned ton by running herself out with just a run to go.
South Africa’s Suné Luus was the pick of the bowlers, with 4/38 in her 10-over spell. Her wickets included Nain Abidi (4), captain Sana Mir (7), Nida Dar (4) and she also deprived Khan of her half-century, taking a catch off her own bowling to remove her with a run to go to 50. Shabnim Ismail was the only other bowler to claim a wicket, taking just one for 30, while the rest of the bowling unit seemed to struggle.
It was tough going for the visitors in their reply. Their top run scorer was Trisha Chetty with 32 off 72 balls. Mignon Du Preez (pictured), Lizelle Lee and Dané Van Niekerk contributed 27, 25 and 21 respectively, but none could consolidate their starts to get a heftier score. Pakistan’s Anam Amin and Mir took 3/24 and 2/22 respectively to restrict South Africa to 159/9 at the end of their 50 overs.
South Africa’s captain Du Preez says: ‘It wasn’t the best day at the office for us, Pakistan were definitely the better team on the day. We should have restricted them to a lower total, but our batting let us down the most. We didn’t show the kind of intent we usually do. Pakistan restricted our scoring areas and once they took them away, we didn’t find alternative options. We will definitely regroup tomorrow and look to do a lot of things differently when we play the next match on Sunday.’ They will look to bounce back in the second ODI that will take place at the same ground on Sunday, 15 March.